Sunder wrote:

>I've been ignoring this list for a while, so sorry for the late

>I remember sometime in late 99, I had one of the early blackberry 
>pagers, the small ones that ate a single AA battery which lasted about
>week or so, and had email + a small web browser inside of it.  It
>the blackberry phone.  Anyway, long story short, one day, said pager 
>crashed (it is a computer after all) and I was trying to figure out how

>to reboot it, so I thought, fuck it, and removed the battery, the
>stayed ON!  For over 15 minutes!

>Gee, I wonder why anyone would design a cell phone or pager to be able 
>to stay on after its battery is pulled out.  Yeah, yeah, it's just a 
>capacitor or an internal rechargeable battery, but why would you want 
>such a feature?

There is a damn good reason. PDAs, pagers, and cellphones often hold a
great deal of info the owner regards as valuable, and which they don't
want to lose - phone lists, email, addresses, etc. Battery changes are a
potential source of loss, since (until recently) all these devices used
volatile memory. Adding a capacitor to give the user a few minutes grace
to fumble with his AAs is an essential feature.

Most users, for better or worse, aren't cypherpunks or terribly
conscious about personal privacy, and regard preserving their data as a
very high priority.

All the PDAs I've dealt with (and I've written SW for a number of them)
have a 'hard reset' protocol - usually pressing the power button while
engaging the recessed reset button - which clears out all memory. 

Peter Trei

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